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Star Wars droids: NASA roboticist weighs in on R2-D2, C-3P0, BB-8

(Hint: it’s not BB-8).

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Lucasfilm

Although Star Wars droids BB-8, C-3PO and R2-D2 live in a galaxy far, far away, they’re deeply close to our hearts. In a video released by Wired, Brett Kennedy, a roboticist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, gives some insight about which droids are more than just cool designs — and which ones are probably better off staying on Tatooine.

His top choice of robot? C-3PO, which Kennedy notes is probably the closest thing to what NASA has created with their own work. “If you married the capabilities of our humanoid systems with what you can get out of your phone today…it shouldn’t be particularly difficult,” he says. He also gives praise to R2-D2. “We can build an R2 today and a lot of what it does is perfectly possible,” says Kennedy.

And what about the newest darling of the Star Wars universe? BB-8 may be the cutest droid yet, but that’s not so practical from NASA’s standpoint. “Trying to roll up and over anything is extremely difficult,” says Kennedy. “If you only have one wheel, you’re sort of stuck. And if you don’t have enough height, the physics doesn’t work out.”

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Watch the video above, and learn more about BB-8 in the one below.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on Dec. 18.

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